Some days I feel like the stream of dirty dishes is endless and I do nothing all goddamn day long but wash dish after dish after dish, dry them, put them away, and then – bingo! – the sink is full of dishes again. Yesterday was one of those days. Fred harvested the navy beans … Continue reading “7/23/08”

Some days I feel like the stream of dirty dishes is endless and I do nothing all goddamn day long but wash dish after dish after dish, dry them, put them away, and then – bingo! – the sink is full of dishes again.

Yesterday was one of those days. Fred harvested the navy beans last weekend, and I looked around online for a canned baked bean recipe, and so yesterday I spent all day making the goddamn things which involved washing the beans, measuring them, figuring out how much water to add, bringing the water (with beans) to a boil, letting them sit for an hour, draining them, adding them back to the pot with fresh water, bringing the water to a boil again, then draining them while reserving the liquid and good god, what a pain in the ass.

I love – LOVE – baked beans, and last year after we harvested the black-eyed peas I said “What kind of beans do you use to make baked beans? Let’s grow some of those!” So earlier this year Fred put navy beans on the grocery list and I bought a bag of dried navy beans, and we planted half of them in the garden.

(I’m sorry, is it not fucking AWESOME that you can buy a bag of beans at the grocery store, plant them, and have them GROW? I’ll never get over that.)

After the harvested beans were – what the fuck is the word I’m looking for? De-podded? There’s a word, I just cannot think of it. I’m ovulating and have Stupid Brain today. YOU’RE WELCOME. – removed from their pods and ready to go, I weighed what we had, and we ended up with four and a half pounds. Four and a half pounds from half a pound planted. Not shabby, I guess, though Fred thinks if he were to pick the pods when they were done growing instead of leaving them to dry on the bush, we might have ended up with more.


So I found this recipe for making your own canned baked beans, and first the issue was that Fred doesn’t like molasses, but we got the suggestion from a canning guru on the forum where he hangs out to substitute honey or brown sugar for the molasses, then once I got to the part where the beans were baking in the oven, I thought about the fact that there’s 3 tablespoons of honey for 4 1/2 pounds of navy beans, and I don’t know much but I’m pretty sure that the baked beans we usually use are way sweeter than 3 tablespoons would make them.

We usually eat Bush’s Baked Beans, for the record.

I spent some time looking around online after my beans had been in the oven for a few hours, and stumbled upon a site where someone claimed that they used the baked bean recipe in the Ball Blue Book, and when they substituted maple syrup for the molasses, it tasted exactly like the Bush’s baked beans. Since my baked beans were already in the oven with their honey sauce, I decided I’d grab a bag of navy beans at the grocery store when I go on Thursday and try that version of baked beans.

Meantime, I had to take the beans out of the oven every hour to make sure they were covered with liquid, and since I was using a flimsy foil pan, every time I took them out of the oven I dumped liquid and beans on the bottom of the oven, which burned. You can imagine how fantastic my house was smelling by then.

With the beans finally done cooking at around 3:00, I got them canned (well, half of them canned. 5 pounds of navy beans makes about 7 quart-size canning jars; my pressure canner only holds 4 jars at a time, so I had to put the uncanned beans in a plastic container to can at a future date (probably later today). When Fred got home, he tasted the beans and declared that they just tasted like cooked beans, not like there was any honey or spices in there at all.



We talked about it some more, and I think that when I can the second half of the beans, I may stir some BBQ sauce in with them to improve the flavor. I don’t know. Those of you who know about canning and baked beans – hell, even those of you who don’t – what would you recommend I do? Suggestions? I don’t want these beans to go to waste!



So in and amongst all the bean baking and canning, I put the leftover chicken from Sunday’s lunch on to simmer for a few hours so I could pick the chicken off the bones and make chicken and rice casserole. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough chicken meat to make a small batch of the casserole, but there was enough, and after we ate it for dinner last night, we had enough left over for another night.

Tonight, I’m making a stuffed pattypan squash for myself and a stuffed green pepper for Fred. And some oven-fried squash and green tomato.

Ordinarily before I go get groceries on Sunday, we make a list of the meals we want to have throughout the week, but this past Sunday I decided to just figure it out as the week went along, and if I had to run to the store to get something, it’s only a five minute drive to the crappy grocery store. So far, I haven’t had to get a thing – between our garden and our chickens, we’ve pretty much been all set this week.

I love it when that happens.




23DSC02743 23DSC02742 23DSC02732 23DSC02776






2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: I really REALLY want a monkeypod tree for my back yard.
2003: Bonus entry, just for you!
2002: Sit on it.
2001: Packing, packing, packing.
2000: No entry.